the nock point

The Nock Point: How to set the Nocking Point with Bow Square

If you haven’t had much experience with archery, the term “bow nock” may not mean anything to you. In our bow guide, we will explain in detail what a nocking point is and how to set a nocking point with a bow square. 




What’s the Cam Point?

The nock point is a simple and ingenious tool with which you can always shoot your arrow at the same chord position. By the nocking point, the arrow always takes an angle of 90°. This gives you a more consistent shot pattern, increases your hit rate, and ultimately improves your Technique in archery, because you can use your resources more for the correct archery stance – instead of wasting them on the correct arrow position.

If you don’t use nocking point archery, the arrow position may vary a little bit with every shot. Especially at longer distances, every minimal shift of the arrow ensures a high variability in the shot pattern. Remember: It’s about millimeters!

It is therefore advisable to use a cam point, as this ensures a higher consistency of your shots.

When setting the bow nocks you have the choice between small brass rings with a plastic coating, which is clamped to the tendon, or the cam point winding. We will explain both methods to you in detail. We will also explain what you have to pay attention to when setting the nocking point during the recurve compared to other types of bow.


One Cam Point or two?

Whether you want to set one or two arcs of bow string nocks is up to you. You do not need a second arc of cam point. To set another cam point on the arc, you must first set the first one. Follow the following instructions for setting a nocking point in an arc.

Then you place the arrow on the string and cam it directly at the nocking point. Now you fix the second nocking point underneath, but leave some space for it. Of course, we are not talking about centimeters, but about two to three millimeters!

nocking point archery


Required Equipment

To set a cam point on the bow, you will need the following:

  • A tendon scale, a so-called checker
  • One or two cam points made of metal, mostly brass
  • A pair of cam pliers

The following has to be said about the nocking pliers: you don’t need special nocking pliers to set a bow nocking point, a normal plier is sufficient. But with the latter, it is very difficult to can solve the cam point. Most commercially available cam pliers have a special mechanism for this. If you want to set a cam point for the first time, it can be annoying to have to remove a brass ring that has been set incorrectly and use normal pliers or other tools that are basically unsuitable. With cam pliers, this is much faster and less stressful. We, therefore, recommend the purchase of cam pliers.

Of course, in addition to the above-mentioned utensils, your bow as well. Now the procedure can commence!


Select the Correct Cam Point Size

Brass rings as cam points are available at most dealers in three different sizes:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

Which ones to use depends on the nature of your Bowstring. Before you buy completely unsuitable cam points, you should inform yourself well about them. Ask the dealer of your choice if you are unsure.

Usually, the size of the cam point depends on the number of strands in the bowstring. Of course, the used tendon material also plays a role. Pay attention to the size, because you will not be able to clamp an undersized nocking point on the string, while an oversized nocking point will most likely slip, no matter how tightly you clamp it.


Set Cam Point Instruction

Good instructions are the be-all and end-all because with help even a beginner can set a bow nocking point. We have tried to prepare all information for you as well as possible.

setting nocking point recurve bow


Determine the Position of the Cam Point

  • To determine the position of the cam point, it is first necessary to fine-tune the stand height. This means the distance between the deepest part of the bow center and the chord, in the bow’s starting position. If you are unsure, check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Now you can measure the stand height with the help of the tendon scale and then set the correct stand height. Be very conscientious, because only with the correct stand height the insertion of a cam point makes sense!
  • Now you clip the tendon scale onto the tendon and place it on the arrow rest like an arrow, taking care to maintain the natural arrow position. Now you measure how far you have to move the nocking point from the right angle between the bowstring and the arrow rest upwards. Take care to place the nocking point between eight and ten millimeters above the right angle between the bowstring and the arrow rest. By the way, on a shelf, the distance is eleven to thirteen millimeters.
  • If you want to set a nocking point on a recurve or longbow, you have to keep in mind that these types of bows are shot traditionally. They do not use a shelf, but rather an arrow rest made of leather or felt. So please follow our aforementioned instructions regarding the distance to the right angle.
  • However, the distance also depends on the size of the cams. The larger the selected cam, the further away the cam point must logically be set. Again, this is a matter of millimeters!


Attaching the Cam Point

Once you have determined the correct position for your bow, you directly attach the cam point to the string. To do this, take the appropriate ring and place it on the string at the specified position. Now take the pliers and fix the brass ring so firmly on the string that it cannot be moved anymore. Voilà, that’s it!


Fine Tuning the Cam Point

Archery is above all a mental sport – it depends very much on the “feeling” of the archer. Therefore you have to feel comfortable with your set nocking point above all.

This is where the fine-tuning comes into play, with which you can adjust the cam point. Usually, it is enough to follow our nocking point guide to set the arc nocking point correctly. Nevertheless, you should shoot with your bow a few times to feel if the nocking point fits for you. Afterward, you can move the nocking point one or two millimeters to adjust it, if necessary.

Be sure to complete your fine-tuning before you set a second cam point. Otherwise you might have to move both of them again afterwards, which can quickly turn into endless fiddling.

how to set nocking point with bow square



Wind or Produce a Cam Point Yourself

As an alternative to the set brass cam point, you can also wind a cam point. Archers use this method especially when the additional weight of one or two brass rings on the string disturbs them.

Use dental floss or a very thin yarn to wrap a cam point. Measure the nocking point as described above, mark it with a pencil and then wrap the yarn around the string at the marked point. Knot it well and make sure that it is very tight. Now cut the ends of the yarn to about five millimeters.

This method has its pitfalls since a wound yarn slips a little more easily than a clamped brass ring. Nevertheless, the following is also valid here: Allowed is what pleases and above all what the archer can best handle.

Some archers even resort to a small piece of armor tape or even to paper that has been dipped in glue before.


It is always difficult to try something you have no experience with. However, you will see that it is relatively easy to set a cam point yourself. Just try it out and follow our tips for setting a cam point, then nothing can go wrong.


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